Panama Jack vs Dr Martens Boots: Which Is Better?

One of the major differences that set the Panama Jack boots apart from the Dr. Martens boot would be the pricing.

Another difference is that Panama Jack boots are handcrafted using age-old techniques and perfect for adventures and traveling while Doc Martens can be categorized under mid-range priced shoes initially produced for the working-class citizens.

Panama Jack vs Dr Martens Boots

Until its evolution, it now included people from different spheres of life including celebrities and a larger percentage of young people.

The aim of this article is to inform you about the specifications and exclusive features of each brand, thus helping you to make the right choice when picking out footwear to suit your needs.

We will be shining the spotlight on these two unique brands, the Panama Jack and Doc Martens, highlighting their similarities, differences, and the pros and cons you should consider before going for your preferred footwear.

By the end of this article, you will be able to make an informed decision about the next pair of kicks that will give you value for your money.

What is the Panama Jack brand?

Panama Jack vs Dr Martens Boots

Panama Jack is a unisex footwear brand founded in 1989 by Antonio Vicente at 23.

The Panama Jack brand has no connection with the Country which is in Central America. It is a Spanish brand set up in Elche, Alicante, Spain where the shoes are produced to date.   

The line focuses on making high-quality, handcrafted shoes in different styles including desert boots, sandals, laced-up boots, and sneakers that provide comfort to their customers and meet their needs while walking, strolling, or hiking.

On the basis of copyright, the company had to change the name of their brand from Panama Jack to Havana Joe to make it exportable outside the shores of their Country, Spain. The shoe line, however, has maintained its name in Spain.

There are doubts as to whether the brand is still exporting its footwear as reputable retailers including Nordstroms and Zappos no longer have the shoe line in stock though it is available on websites like Amazon and eBay.


  • It is lined with natural fur that provides warmth during cold seasons.
  • Waterproof
  • Anti-fatigue technology
  • It is quite flexible and bends at the toes
  • The soles are slip-resistant.


  • The glued outsoles would make it easy for the soles to come off if the glue is compromised.
  • They are handcrafted and thus quite expensive when compared to other brands.

What are Dr. Martens Boots?

Panama Jack vs Dr Martens Boots

The Dr. Martens boots are footwear originally designed by Dr. Klaus Martens who happened to be a doctor in the German Army around 1945.

Dr. Martens had suffered a skiing accident and could not comfortably wear the assigned Nazi Army boots due to his foot injury. He would go on to design a new boot with air-padded soles made from recycled tires.

The target market initially was older folks, the injured, and people with orthopedic pains and would go on to include different generations and categories of people, particularly for the working class; Postmen, Cops, and factory workers.

By the 20th Century, Dr. Martens boots would be a casual fashion staple, especially among celebrities including Kanye West, Dalai Lama, alte enthusiasts, and youths, in general.

Music plays a vital role in the evolution of the brand from being just workwear to having widespread acceptance in the fashion world.


  • The soft soles are lightweight and this makes it perfect for walking, and hiking.
  • The wax-treated leather used makes it water-resistant in light rain.
  • Its casual appearance makes it possible to be styled with almost any outfit.
  • Doc Martens are one of the most versatile footwear out there and can be worn in every season.


  • The heat-fused fabrication of the upper body and the soles makes it almost impossible to resolve and repair.
  • It is made with thin leather and single-stitched and as a result, its durability is questionable.
  • It is not waterproof due to the thin leather and can’t be worn during winter or heavy rains.
  • The custom yellow stitches around the welt are not very stylish.
  • The Doc Martens do not come in half sizes so it might be difficult finding the right fit.
  • Soles are not skid-proof.
  • The lack of a shank would probably cause these boots to look shapeless with time and wear.
  • They are expensive.
  • The components used in its production are not environmentally friendly.

What similarities exist between the Panama Jacks and Dr. Martens’s boots?

Notwithstanding the fact that these different brands are located on different continents and have distinct remarkable features that set them apart, they have a few similarities that are worthy of consideration.

  • They produce Unisex footwear
  • Durability
  • They are both reputable brands

They produce Unisex footwear

These brands construct a variety of styles for men and women which is an advantage for their new and returning customers that will be able to avoid the fuss associated with a window shopping or online surfing when they can see all their options and make their choice.

This also benefits the companies in turn as being able to do general shopping once and for all encourages sustainability and returning customers.


Both are made with quality materials sourced from different locations using peculiar techniques to assemble them together.

The Panama Jack is handcrafted carefully with attention to detail and Doc Martens heat fused together.

The materials and processes involved in this result in long-lasting boots that are not just aesthetically pleasing but will serve their primary function as well.

It is important to understand that the wear and tear of these items also depend, to a large extent, on how well they are handled after purchase.

Sticking to the manufacturer’s instructions and getting the aftercare kits go a long way in ensuring that this footwear lasts well beyond its estimated life span.

They are both reputable brands

For many people, it would be quite simple to identify the Panama Jack seal without any issues, as well as the distinctive yellow thread that’s associated with Doc Martens footwear.

These brands have existed for no less than two decades, making timeless footwear and evolving with the trends without having to cause significant changes to the quality of their footwear.

Their popularity is helped by the advancement in technology making it possible to purchase and ship these brands across different countries and continents from the comfort of one’s home, without the stress of visiting a walk-in store.

Different product reviews on social media apps, online stores, and the possibility of digital marketing have broadened the target market for these shoe lines, making them a household name when it comes to footwear.

Comparison between the Panama Jacks and Dr. Martens boots?

The differences between these shoe brands are quite noticeable. The yellow threads that run around the Dr. Materns, the differences in the soles, the flexibility of the Panama Jack boots, the absence of shanks in the Dr. Materns, and several other factors including the seal would easily set these brands apart.

There are some other differences we will pay attention to in order to help us make guided choices the next time you shop for shoes.

A few of these differences will be spotted and compared below.

Material build

The material built for Panama Jack boots depends on the design and collection to which it belongs.

The most common materials would include;  flexible rubber soles, waterproof leather for some which make it weatherproof, and the sheepskin lining used in it which does a great job of keeping one’s feet warm during lower temperatures.

Sheepskin does not support breathability and this would make it nearly impossible for heat to escape, trapping in moisture which would result in clammy feet. Panama Jack boots also make use of leather, textile, and Gore-tex linings.

The secondary raw materials used in the production of Dr. Martens include leather and Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC).

There are no specifications about the materials used in the production of the soles apart from it being rubber.

Winner: Panama Jack


There is a wide range of fashionable designs to choose from in both brands. From high ankle-length boots to leather lace-up boots, they offer different varieties in regard to men’s footwear.

The Panama Jack can boast of unique designs like their counterparts but the fleece linings on the ladies’ winter boots would make them stand out considerably.

Dr. Martens on the other hand have catchy customized floral designs printed on women’s footwear that make their designs wide-reaching and peculiar as well. Doc Martens produces about 250 different designs yearly.

Winner: Tie


Dr. Martens’s boots do not come in half sizes according to the instructions on their size guide.

Potential customers would have to narrow it down to the nearest size expecting it to stretch as they break them in or go for a bigger fit if they would like more room.

The issue of size is a major concern with the Dr. Martens brand which has had several complaints from its customers about fitting.

The opposite is the case for the Panama Jack brand which makes footwear in half sizes. Without further contemplation, it would be quite easy to give it to the Panama brand in terms of size fit.

Winner: Panama Jack


For the Doc Martens, considering that they were initially made for the working class, the prices of this footwear which is something close to a style icon, just like their prestige have skyrocketed over time.

Doc Martens boots are not the most expensive in the market either and since they are not considered luxury products, they fall in the mid-range categories.

For their price, the quality of these boots is fair though one can not compare the materials used for the newer versions with the vintage Doc Martens which are said to be of superior quality to their modern counterparts.

On the other hand, Panama Jack/Havana Joe boots are not cheap either, and considering that they are handcrafted cost way more than the Doc Martens.

Winner: Doc Martens

Panama Jack vs Dr. Martens Boots: Overall Winner

It is not very easy to decipher which of these has the better quality and is more durable because of the different standards of the different parts used in its production.

One of the major features that set Dr. Martens’s brand apart from others would be the super soft inorganic rubber soles which do a wonderful job of shock absorption and are perfect for people with foot pain.

The soles are heat fused to the upper body of these shoes and this makes them difficult to repair if it goes bad. On the flip side, the soles are durable and will last a long time if well taken care of.

However, the upper body of Dr. Martens is made with smooth, thin leather which will possibly wear faster if not handled carefully.

Reviewers are also biased toward the models Made in England as compared to the boots produced in China with regards to the quality.

The Panama Jack brand has standard soles with deep lugs that will ensure traction on different surfaces although reviewers tend to disagree with the quality of their soles commenting on how quickly this disintegrates.

The soles of Panama Jack/Havana Joe boots are mostly cemented with glue and only a few have stitched foreparts, and this when compared to the Goodyear welted Doc Martens, falls short.


Searching for the perfect footwear is quite the herculean task and it is important to know that neither of these boots is totally superior to the other.

As listed above, each brand has its pros and cons, differences, and similarities which will help you in your choice of which to purchase.

Though  Panama Jack and Doc Martens companies produce hard-wearing footwear for their target market, Panama Jack is the go-to brand when shopping for luxury handcrafted shoes and if you are on a budget, there are different Doc Martens styles that will fit your bill.

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